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2 officers, bystander killed in Las Vegas ambush

BY MICHELLE RINDELS AND MARTIN GRIFFITH



LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Two police officers were having lunch at a strip mall pizza buffet when a man and a woman fatally shot them in a point-blank ambush, then fled to a nearby Wal-Mart where they killed a third person and then themselves in an apparent suicide pact, authorities said.

The attack at a CiCi's Pizza restaurant on Sunday killed Officers Alyn Beck, 41, and Igor Soldo, 31, who are both husbands and fathers. One of the shooters yelled, "This is a revolution!" but a motive remains under investigation, Las Vegas police spokesman Larry Hadfield told The Associated Press.

"It's a tragic day," Sheriff Doug Gillespie said at a news conference Sunday afternoon. "But we still have a community to police, and we still have a community to protect. We will be out there doing it with our heads held high, but with an emptiness in our hearts."

For added safety, officers who normally work alone will be paired up with another officer for a time, Gillespie said.

The deadly rampage in the aging shopping center about 5 miles northeast of the Las Vegas Strip took place in a matter of minutes. Police were called at 11:22 a.m. to the pizzeria, where one of the officers was able to fire back at his assailants. It's unclear whether he hit them, Gillespie said.

Shots were reported five minutes later at a nearby Wal-Mart, where the shooters gunned down a person just inside the front door and exchanged gunfire with police before killing themselves, police said.

The female suspect shot the male suspect before killing herself, Gillespie said. The Wal-Mart victim's identity hasn't been confirmed, and the suspects' names haven't been released.

Both officers were pronounced dead at University Medical Center. Beck had been with the department since 2001 and leaves behind a wife and three children. Soldo had been with the force since 2006 and is survived by a wife and baby, police said.

He was described as a good father and a "great guy" by his sister-in-law, Colleen Soldo of Beatrice, Nebraska. She said he attended high school in Lincoln, Nebraska, and previously worked as a corrections officer.

Sheree Burns, 48, told the Las Vegas Sun she was eating at the restaurant, seated just behind the two officers when a man came up to one of the officers and shot him in the head.

She said she ducked under her table but peeked up and saw the other officer being shot.

She said the man took an officer's handgun and the two attackers fled.

Pauline Pacheco was shopping at Wal-Mart when she saw the armed man and grabbed her father to escape, KLAS-TV reported.

"We saw when the man was walking, he was shouting, yelling bad words, and suddenly he had a gun," she told the station. "It was terrible, it was terrible. That man was crazy."

Assistant Sheriff Kevin McMahill said the male suspect yelled "everyone get out" before shooting at Wal-Mart. The suspects then walked to the back of the store.

Gov. Brian Sandoval said in a statement he was devastated by the killings of the two officers and an innocent bystander in an "act of senseless violence."

In a statement, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman called the killings a "cruel act" and praised the officers for dedicating "their lives to protecting all of us in our community."

Wal-Mart employees and shoppers were taken to a nearby women's clothing store to be interviewed by police. The restaurant and Wal-Mart remained closed as detectives processed evidence. McMahill said the investigation is "very complex" because it involves more than 1,000 witnesses.

Wal-Mart expressed its condolences in a statement and said the company was working with police on the investigation. CiCi's Pizza said in a statement the company was deeply saddened by the shooting and would keep the location closed until further notice.

Sunday's killings come less than a year after the Las Vegas police department's most recent on-duty death. Officer David VanBuskirk died while rescuing a stranded hiker by helicopter on July 22, 2013.

The department has lost officers over the past decade in vehicle accidents and in an off-duty shooting, but the most recent on-duty shooting death happened Feb. 1, 2006, when Sgt. Henry Prendes was ambushed during a domestic violence call.

---

Griffith reported from Reno.

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etls1 June 09 2014 at 11:43 AM

How about a headline that says "Three people killed by shooters"? This subtle media differentiation between the huge importance of a cop's life and the relative worthlessness of a civilian's life is the precise reason why things like this happen. The fact is that there is NO difference in the value of those lives but that which we are conditioned to perceive, and it is sickening to keep seeing it everywhere.

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38 replies
aljoramaggio June 09 2014 at 11:32 AM

Deepest condolences to the families of the slain officers and the innocent bystanders.

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3 replies
shatim June 09 2014 at 11:30 AM

God help the faamilies of the fallen and injured. The dead creeps, the DEVIL welcomes you to HELL!

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2 replies
Debbie shatim June 09 2014 at 11:37 AM

What cowards! Always taking the easy way out! I know they will burn in Hell for what they have done but it won't bring any comfort or solace to the families. These men have literally gotten away with murder and I hope their "payment" is eternal!

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4 replies
nolanpamela shatim June 09 2014 at 11:55 AM

It must be nice to have the gift of divine certitude.

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6 replies
rlmcanoe June 09 2014 at 11:39 AM

Condolences from Massachusetts to family and friends of these innocent victims. these dirtbags left wives and children without a father, what were they thinking.

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3 replies
Daphnne' June 09 2014 at 11:41 AM

I AM SO SORRY FOR YALLS LOSS GOD BLESS EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YALL

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3 replies
calderasf June 09 2014 at 11:47 AM

Over time I have read many post talking about the so called "revolution" by gunuts against the gov't and here it is! A revolution where gun nuts kill our neighbors, fathers, husbands, protectors and basically just plain Americans. Yeah, we all going to rally around this revolution. The only thing they did right was kill each other as the cowards they are this was the easy way out.

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12 replies
gyklinger June 09 2014 at 12:55 PM

The two policeman weren't being thugs!! They were having lunch. It saddens me how people have no respect for authority anymore. Prayers for their families & by the two wackos committing suicide, they saved the taxpayers a hell of a lot of money!!!

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2 replies
slackwarerobert gyklinger June 09 2014 at 1:23 PM

Oh, so these two were hot on the trail to arrest the cops that shot the man in cosco's a few years ago?
Respect is EARNED.

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3 replies
sstanroberts gyklinger June 09 2014 at 2:18 PM

As long as crooked cops are protected by good cops they will not have respect from the citizenry.When good cops start arresting bad cops,and punishing them for violating their oaths and breaking the law,they will earn back the respect they have thrown away. These three people didn't deserve to be murdered,but don't blame guns or the second amendment,law enforcement abuse was the precursor to this unfortunate event.

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8 replies
bader95 June 09 2014 at 11:41 AM

I understand the need for unrestricted news media, but I think there is a need to take a close look at how the benefits weigh against detrements. With this case as with many others, I feel that one of the motives for the carnage is for that one moment of fame that they will find in the news media coverage. Maybe, just maybe with that possibility of fame taken away there might be a few less killings.

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9 replies
ndtohvfun June 09 2014 at 11:50 AM

Condolences to the families of the officers and to the bystander in Walmart. Sad world when one cant even enjoy a lunch meal and be slaughtered

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1 reply
edwbiker ndtohvfun June 09 2014 at 3:55 PM

Please check your grammar. The Panda: Eats shoots and leaves.

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Chala June 09 2014 at 1:02 PM

God Bless and protect our police officers, firemen/women, military and all who put their lives on the line to protect us.

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1 reply
ctc1158 Chala June 09 2014 at 3:17 PM

blah blah blah blah blah blah blah..............cops aren't heroes. The whole system is about money. You are brainwashed into believing they are serving and protecting. It's not like these guys are for humanity. They get very personal and if it wasn't for the police force most cops would be criminals. So go ahead and give them praise for pulling people over in the middle of the night for having a burned out tail light and harassing them to see if they're drinking but watch drivers blow through red lights in the day and do nothing. They are just as lazy as most people who go through the motions and collect a paycheck. But what's worse is when they're psychopaths strung out on steroids and bully society around. Them and judges put plenty of innocent people behind bars while letting real criminals walk. I guess god already blesses them because when the sheriff in my county got a dui a couple hours outside his safety zone at .24, he never lost his job, gun, or driver's license.

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11 replies
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